Hill Thalis to design first stage of $1.25 billion build-to-rent precinct

Sydney firm Hill Thalis Architecture and Urban Projects has won a competition to design the first stage of an urban renewal build-to-rent precinct in East Bentleigh, Melbourne, on the lands of the Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin nation.

To be known as East Village, the $1.25 billion project will occupy 4.3 hectares of former industrial land, the site of Chassis Brakes automotive parts manufacturing facility for 90 years.

The masterplanned community will be home to 3,000 build-to-rent dwellings, 15,000 square metres of retail floorspace, and 80,000 square metres of commercial floorspace. It will also include the new McKinnon Secondary College campus, designed by K2LD Architects and scheduled to open January 2022, and a 4,000-square-metre warehouse space to be used as a “creative design and innovation incubator.”

Build-to-rent developer Assemble Communities invited Hill Thalis, Grimshaw and Six Degrees Architects to take part in the concept masterplan design competition. The winning firm, Hill Thalis, will design the first stage of the development, featuring 400 apartments and ground-floor commercial across four buildings, and will develop the overall masterplan in collaboration with MGS Architects, which has led the project development to this point.

“Hill Thalis has successfully responded to and challenged the project brief in a manner that will contribute to the overall success of the design of a detailed masterplan for the site,” said Assemble’s culture and strategy director Emma Telfer.

Hill Thalis’s initial design response includes communal gardens at the first floor for each housing type, a large neighbourhood park and a network of civic spaces threaded across the site, which would be lively both during business hours and in the evenings and weekends.

“We’ve populated the proposed urban structure with a diverse range of dwelling types,” said Hill Thalis principal Philip Thalis. “Every housing type is anchored by a common garden, or public space that helps to form micro-communities within the broader master plan.

“The representation of community is the resultant patchwork of gardens, streets in the sky, squares and courts that are the setting for a rich and varied civic life beyond the front door. The apartments will be celebrated as a ‘homecoming’ for future residents.”

The design competition was judged by a multidisciplinary jury including Assemble’s Emma Telfer; Andy Fergus, urban designer; David Waldren, Vicinity Centres National Head of Design; Knowles Tivendale, Movement and Place Consulting Managing Director; and Robyn Lukstin, Assemble Development Manager.

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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